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Bike Review - Posted 2nd December 2013
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Hesketh 24

First Triumph, then Norton, then Brough Superior and now Hesketh. Another famous name from British motorcycling is being brought back to life in the shape of the 'Hesketh 24', a 120bhp two-litre V-twin...

We've written heaps about the original Hesketh V1000 and Vampire models before; the short version is that Lord Hesketh was patriotically inspired to build his own bikes from scratch back in the early 1980s. The result was a brawny, 992cc, 85bhp, 90-degree 'L' twin which featured four valves per head and double overhead cams. An unseemly rush from prototype into production without proper development meant that the early machines were flawed in many ways. To this day the original Hesketh bikes divide their intended audience, who either find them compelling, charismatic and worth every penny - or overblown, over-complicated and grossly over-valued.

After Lord Hesketh had run out of funding, engineer Mick Broom picked up the pieces and continued to refine the V1000 specification while providing owners with a spares supply and a skilled set of hands when it came to routine maintenance and repairs. Broom eventually crafted an evolved form of Hesketh motorcycle with improved reliability and all-round performance which fulfilled much of the Hesketh's early promise - but Broom Engineering was a small concern and struggled to meet customer demand. Without Mick, however, many Hesketh owners would have been left high and dry: his efforts kept these rare motorcycles on the road.

Hesketh V1000... 2012 Hesketh Kingswood V1000

In 2010 a new owner stepped into the frame, Paul Sleeman, who moved the Hesketh headquarters to Kingswood in Surrey and opened a new showroom and specialist workshop, and gave the company logo an overhaul. Sleeman produced a special model Kingswood V1000 in 2012, with its specification further uprated. Just five of these bikes were built.

Now Hesketh Motorcycles have announced a new model, the Hesketh 24. Harking back to Lord Hesketh's involvement in James Hunt's Grand Prix career, the bike's styling is derived from Hunt's F1 winning '24' car. This image seen here is very obviously an artist's impression, and we're promised that underneath the red, white and blue there will be 'a completely modern interpretation of a Hesketh machine.'

Spot the deliberate mistakes... Artist's Impression of the Hesketh 24

The new Hesketh 24 will incorporate a 1950cc 56-degree V-twin motor with three belt-driven cams, producing 120bhp (it's hard to say from the image and info, but the motor looks similar to S&S Cycle's X-Wedge engine). The Hesketh 24 will use a six speed gearbox with a Baker FFP primary drive, with power being delivered to the rear wheel by chain. The addition of Beringer 4-piston brakes, Ohlins' suspension and Brock's carbon fibre wheels will certainly make this Hesketh an international affair.

Says Sleeman: 'The design of the bike itself is centred around the big V-twin muscle at the heart of the bike, with overhead air intakes inside the tank above and a 22.7 litre fuel cell mounted below the engine. To stay true to some original Hesketh features the front light offers a modern half-cowl and the top tank follows the distinctive Hesketh shape.

'The limited edition Hesketh 24, of which only 24 will be made, is available from Feb-ruary and we will go on to develop and release a 2 seat version of this model shortly after.'

Whatever your budget...
Hesketh Stuff on

There are no pricing details as yet - that kind of engine package would normally cost around 10k on its ownsome - but if you can't quite run to a 30k motorcycle then you can already grab some 'luxury clothing' items which range from a keyfob for 6.95 to a leather jacket for 595

We'll be very interested to see the new Hesketh 24 when it appears in the metal. In the meanwhile, here's more info: www.heskethmotorcycles.co.uk

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Words: Rowena Hoseason
Photos: Hesketh Motorcycles


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